State Attorney General Files Suit Against Super Bowl Ticket Broker
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson Wednesday announced legal action has been taken, and a lawsuit filed against, a Super Bowl ticket broker whom he says defrauded at least 24 Washington state residents out of tickets to the Big Game.
SBTickets.com LLC, a New York-based company, is accused of fraud by not delivering tickets that were paid for by consumers.
Ferguson said Wednesday:
" The Attorney General’s Office has received 24 complaints about SBTickets, regarding 60 tickets. Prices ranged from $1,875 to $3,500 per ticket. Washington consumers paid SBTickets at least $149,000 for tickets promised to be “100% Guaranteed, no tricks or gimmicks,” according to their website and email communications.
What SBTickets didn’t tell its customers is that it’s actually a short seller of Super Bowl tickets — it sold tickets it did not have, hoping to fulfill its orders by buying tickets at a later date for a lower price."
But as the game approached, ticket prices soared, making it impossible for SBTickets to purchase the stubs, and therefore deliver them to their clients. The people who bought their tickets received an email from the company just hours before the game, notifying them they were NOT getting their tickets! The few tickets they were able to get were given to clients who had paid, or bid, the highest price.
The company promised refunds by February 2nd, and although refunds were made, they were mostly done two weeks later. Ferguson says that also constitutes an unfair and misleading business practice, by not fulfilling a promise to consumers.
Ferguson said the state is demanding SBTickets to reimburse the affected clients not only any unpaid ticket money, but also hotel and transportation costs and a $2,000 penalty per violation. The company must also sign a legal pledge to stop engaging in deceptive practices in the future.
Ferguson says anyone else who experienced the same situation with SBTickets or any other broker, should file a complaint with the Attorney General's office by calling 1-800-551-4636, or click on the Consumer Protection icon at the Attorney General's office website.
There have also been rumors Ferguson may, in the future, seek to have legislation passed that would make it illegal for any vendor or broker who does business in Washington state (even if they're located elsewhere) from engaging in short-selling tickets for any event.